Oh my goodness, suddenly it’s winter! One second I was wondering whether I even needed to bother taking a jacket, and all of a sudden I’m wearing a scarf and sweltering every time I walk into a shop because of my huge winter coat.
I have 3 coats for proper winter, a nice, wool, brown single breasted belted coat for every day, a purple vintage trench coat for not so chilly days when I want to look like a spy, and a black faux suede, faux fur lined short coat which I got from Next a few years ago and is so warm I can wear it over a cocktail dress in December, stand outside for an hour waiting for a bus and the only bit of me that’s chilly is my legs. It also, as you can see, got me through 3 very chilly November days sightseeing in Prague a few years ago. Can’t stop my ears going bright red though….
If you’re in the market for your perfect winter coat there are some gorgeous new styles, in fantastic statement colours and shapes. But don’t get blinded into spending all your hard earned cash on something that looks flash but leaves you shivering in the Taxi rank on a friday night and falls apart within 5 minutes.
If you’re spending that much money, and they can easily run into hundreds of pounds, you want to make sure that you’re getting a coat that will keep you warm and last more than 6 months. So here are my top tips for buying a new winter coat.
BEFORE YOU SHOP
- Set yourself a budget. This might be a bit of an investment, especially if you’re skint, but it’s worth spending as much as you can manage to get something decent. If you only have £30 then you can get yourself a coat, but it’s probably not going to last long.
- What’s your style? Those sexy double breasted military coats might look sexy on the catwalk, but if you’re a jeans and trainers girl then they’re not really going to suit your every day style. So before you go shopping consider whether you’re looking for a coat to wear to work every day, one to wear to college where you always wear jeans and trainers, or one to wear over your cocktail dress as you hop from Pub to club.
- What’s your body shape? Super stylish ladies don’t just wear whatever’s trendy that season, they think about what suits them. Hourglass shapes need nipped in waists and single breasted styles, skinny girls with small busts look good in tailored double breasted numbers, if you’re short steer clear of anything too long or shapeless.
Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll know what shops you can hit and won’t waste time wandering round Karen Millen looking for a casual winter coat in the £40-£50 range or in Primark for a well tailored classic wool work coat in the £200 – £300 range.
- Stay Focused. So you’ve decided you need a formal work coat that you can wear every day and will look good for meetings. Something classic and stylish. Don’t let that Fuchsia pink brocade number with bell sleeves turn your head, it will be a total waste of money.
- Dress like normal. There’s no point trying on coats over a T Shirt if you normally dress in a chunky jumper. Equally wearing a chunky jumper when you’re normally a skinny rib girl can mean you end up with an ill fitting and unsuitable piece of outerwear
- Check the details. Again, the pretty colours and funky details are head turners, but is the coat going to be warm? Is it lined? What is it made of? Feel the quality of the fabric and check the stitching before you hand over your hard earned money. Think about whether you want inside pockets that fasten? Will those lapels end up getting caught on your shoulder bag and pinging buttons all over the bank?
- Look after your investment. So. You’ve just spent the price of a package holiday to Tenerife on a piece of clothing. Don’t ruin it by screwing it up under your desk at work, spilling beer over it in nightclubs or stretching the neck out of shape on a hook. Take a hanger into work, check it into the cloakroom and get it dry cleaned when the sun starts to come out so that next year it doesn’t look like a dog blanket.
Here’s my 3 top picks in 3 budget brackets. I think these are pretty all purpose coats, good for work, but pretty enough to stand muster over your little black dress
This coat is has some great fashionable details like bell sleeves and the large buttons and is an absolute bargain at only £40 from George at Asda .
I wouldn’t expect it it last you forever, or be as warm as a more high end coat, but it’s great if you’re on a budget.
If you’ve got £100-£200 to spend on a coat then this purple swing coat from John Lewis is gorgeous.
It costs £150 and it’s certainly a statement coat, great for this season, but not so outlandish that you won’t still be able to wear it next year.
I think there’s something very cute and 60s about this style and I just love it!
Money no object? Lucky you!
This gorgeous Pringle of Scotland double breasted coat in a sumptuous wine colour is made from a wool cashmere blend and is lined in a polyester and silk fabric. It costs £1,275 which is a dizzying amount of money (to me!) but it could last you a life time if well looked after, and it’s classic style means that it’s unlikely to date in a couple of years.